March 24th, 2015
Fabio Cannavaro, Tim Cahill and Sven-Goran Eriksson are among the names raising the profile of China’s lucrative domestic competition
PUBLISHED : Thursday, 05 March, 2015, 10:32pm
Agence France-Presse in Beijing
China’s domestic season kicks off this week with hopes of a resurgence for the beautiful game after former England boss Sven- Goran Eriksson and rookie coach Fabio Cannavaro put the league among the world’s biggest spenders.
Chinese Super League (CSL) clubs spent €122.2 million (HK$1.06 billion) during the recently closed winter transfer window, almost double last year’s figure, second only to the English Premier League (€186.8 million) and ahead of Italy’s Serie A, according to statistics from German website transfermarkt.
Socceroo Tim Cahill, once of Premier League club Everton, is the star name among the 47 imports – including many Brazilians – who will double the number of overseas players in the competition when it starts on Saturday.
An invigorated national team who reached the quarter-finals of January’s Asian Cup and top-level political support are also giving fans hope that the game has bounced back after years of turmoil.
Chinese President Xi Jinping – who state media describe as an “avid” fan – backed a “football reform plan” last week.
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March 22nd, 2015
Head coach Simon McMenemy cut a frustrated figure after last Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to Stallion. He was particularly disappointed at what he felt was a lack of commitment from his players, and he made his feelings known with an extra training session the day after.
“There are a couple of heavy legs out there due to some extra running on the Sunday after the Saturday game. I wasn’t particularly happy so I canceled their day off and I got them in the next day and they ran hard for an hour, just to remind themselves the price of not quite running through the 90 minutes,” said McMenemy.
Despite the extra day of training, the Scot is confident it will not negatively affect how the Sparks perform against Philippine Army on Saturday.
“There’ll be plenty of time for recovery ahead of Saturday’s game and I think they’re keen to put that behind them and get back to where we were.”Categories: Asia,
March 20th, 2015
Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, Emir of Qatar, has insisted that his country did not bribe Fifa in order to host the 2022 World Cup.
Friday 27th February 2015
Fifa awarded the rich Gulf state nation the honour of hosting the biggest football tournament in the world ahead of Japan, South Korea, Australia and the United States.
Sheikh Al Thani has previously skirted around the topic in the past, and Qatar has continuously denied accusations of corruption in relation to their 2022 World Cup bid, but speaking to students at Georgetown University in Washington he addressed the issue.
“Those allegations, I’d just said, there is a Fifa and they had people investigating and everything they investigated with everybody, all officials in Qatar, and they found out that there is nothing about (that),” he said.
“This World Cup is for all the Arabs and that is why we were successful,” he added.
“I know that you guys here were very upset that Qatar, a small country, can beat this great country but I think you should believe that you know you can lose sometimes.”
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March 18th, 2015 Categories: Asia,
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